Roadmap for an overhead catenary system for trucks
Research into introduction pathways for electric heavy commercial vehicles powered by an overhead catenary system
September 2016 - February 2019
Commissioned byFederal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
In the past there has been a steady increase in road freight transport services. Current predictions indicate that this growth is likely to continue in future. Simply improving the efficiency of diesel drive systems will not be sufficient to comply with climate protection targets agreed by the international community. This will also require alternative energy sources and drive systems for trucks. Given the increasing ratio of renewable energy used to generate electricity, electric powertrains represent a real opportunity to further decarbonise the transport industry.
Hybrid trucks which can be powered electrically using traction current from overhead catenary lines have the potential to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions from truck transport. This system can circumvent the technical limitations of current battery storage systems (energy density, charging power, weight).
The introduction of an overhead catenary system for trucks would create huge logistical, economic and operational challenges. The project “Roadmap for an overhead catenary system for trucks” investigates these challenges from a systemic viewpoint. Core issues:
- Suitable application scenarios for hybrid trucks powered by overhead catenary lines
- Potential development pathways for the system and associated challenges in terms of logistics and energy technology
- Framework conditions required to introduce the system
For this purpose, scenarios for the development of the vehicles and the infrastructure should be drawn up to provide quantified solution spaces (economic, ecological, transport-related, energy technology-related), and culminate in a roadmap.
SWOT analysis, pdf 968 KB
Barrier analysis (in German), pdf 1 MB
Potential analysis 2020-2030 (in German), pdf 2 MB
Position paper „Alternative Antriebe und Kraftstoffe im Straßengüterverkehr – Handlungsempfehlungen für Deutschland“ (in German) by Öko-Institut, Fraunhofer ISI und ifeu, pdf 827 KB
Publications from the German-Swedish Research Collaboration “CollERS”